It’s mid-June as I write this, and summer weather has already made its first appearance for the year. With more warm days on the way, here are some simple tips for keeping cool and lowering your energy bills:
- Close blinds and drapes during daylight hours. If you can, shade your windows from the outside to keep the sun off the glass. This simple step lowered the temperature on the inside of my windows by 10 degrees.
- Keep your doors and windows closed during the day to keep heat out. Open them at night or early in the morning, and use fans to pull cool breezes through. Last summer, we used this strategy to keep the co-op office cool while our air conditioning system was being repaired. Cooling the office down in the morning made a big difference in our afternoon comfort level.
- Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. Turn off or unplug unnecessary electronics.
- Skip your dishwasher’s drying cycle. Air dry dishes instead.
- Dry your laundry on a clothesline. If you must use a dryer, use the lowest heat setting.
- Cook more meals outdoors on a grill, or in your microwave. Avoid using the oven, which adds heat to your home.
- Use fans to keep cool. Turn them off when you leave the room.
- If you have an air conditioner or heat pump, shade the outdoor unit and make sure it has good airflow on all sides.
- Install awnings or plant deciduous trees to shade sun facing windows.
- Check your air filters monthly. Clogged filters make your air conditioner or heat pump work harder.
- Thinking of adding air conditioning? Consider a heat pump (for homes with ductwork) or a ductless heating and cooling system (for homes with zonal heat). Heat pumps and ductless systems provide energy-efficient summer air conditioning and affordable winter heating.
We wish you a safe and enjoyable summer!